How to set up WOW
at home.

So you bought some WOW records and want to create your own WOW experience at home? Here's some practical advice on how to set up a version for two record players.

You can of course always add more records to the mix. We found a setup of four record players to be ideal, as this results in complex rhythms but still allows you to keep the wave field under control.

There are many different ways to set up WOW. You can simply connect two record players to your sound system, like a DJ set, or run two separate stereos. You can also meet up with friends and have a massive WOW listening session.

Keep in mind that WOW requires a powerful Hi-Fi system to come to full effect. You can, however, simply play WOW at 45 rpm/Hz, which will be heard on most systems. For maximum listening pleasure use active subwoofers instead of your hi-fi or PA speakers.

Here are a few options.


2 record players, 2 stereos.

Set up two independent stereos with one record player each. This option is closest to the spirit of WOW as it also brings out the characteristics of the different playback systems as well as the influence of their spatial position. And it gives you a good reason to invite a friend over.


2 record players, 1 stereo.

Connect two record players to a regular stereo system by dividing the input. Plug the left or right channel of record player 1 into the left phono input, and the left or right channel of record player 2 into the right phono input. Don't worry about the two unused outputs, as both channels are the same. One record will now be played back on the left speaker, and the other one on the right speaker. Keep in mind that both record players need to be grounded.


DJ setup.

Already have two record players hooked up to a mixer? Great, you can simply mix both signals together 50/50. If you also have a good EQ at hand, you might want to boost 33.3 Hz a little, as most subs tend to be significantly less powerful there than at 45 Hz.

Some more advice.


WOW may damage your speakers.

WOW contains an extremely low frequency that could damage your stereo system if you turn it up too much. Make sure to adapt playback volume and the frequency you play to what your amplifier and sub can handle. Under no circumstances can HEAVYLISTENING be held responsible for any bad things happening to your expensive gear.

No hum!

Electric hum will interfere with WOW.

To experience the true WOW, you must make absolutely sure your record player is free from electric hum. Electric hum, or mains hum, is a constant low tone which you can hear when your system isn’t properly grounded. Its frequency is either 50 Hz or 60 Hz, depending on where you live. As this frequency is very close to the WOW frequency range, unwanted modulations and beats might occur when you play the record. To check if there is a hum problem, play only one WOW record on 45 rpm. If it starts to slowly increase and decrease volume by itself, there's too much hum. Google knows more about how to get rid of it.

Avoid feedback!

WOW is very sensitive.

When you play WOW, your floor will start to vibrate, too. So make sure to properly isolate your record player or mechanical feedback might occur, resulting in a strong increase of volume that overpowers WOW itself – and could even cause the needle to jump up and down. Put your record player on a solid, heavy surface and use other isolation methods like spikes or tennis balls, if necessary.

HEAVYLISTENING was founded in 2011 by Carl Schilde & Anselm Venezian Nehls.
They create and curate award-winning sonic experiences.

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